'tis almost the season

I'm at work, listening to a children's choir rehearse the Shepherd's Chorus from Amahl and the Night Visitors. And while I'd rather be sitting at home in my jammies, listening to it on my iPod, it's a pretty close second. It's one of those things that puts me in the holiday mood...I think that first time I heard/performed it was in Pittsburgh, for a holiday concert at my undergrad. Even now, when I'm in a singy mood and someone does something nice for me, I'll quote the King's "Thank you, thank you...thank you kindly."

Add it to the "Reasons to be Thankful" list.

Starting the holiday season, which culminates yearly in "The Running of the Polacks." We pack up the car, drive to Pennsylvania and spend several days bouncing back andforth between parents, inlaws, great-aunts and uncles, grandparents. Eating our weight in traditional foods that are entirely crafted of flour, lard and potatoes. (Even the 12-fruit compote) Sleeping on seldom-used guest beds. Playing with the niece & nephew that we don't see nearly often enough. And then we drive back to DC, the car just as heavily-laden with gifts (albeit unwrapped) as it was when we left. I have to say, I'm looking forward to it. My inlaws are great people - very little holiday stress there, aside from the What-are-we-going-to-get-them-for-Christmas? kind. And my side of the family provides, as we call it, the color. Buttons will be pushed, oh yes.

I'm just hoping that, this year, they're not my buttons. Please, Santa? Please?


cover up!

i left town for a week and all of the trees shed their leaves...i'm living in Nudeville.

(Let's hope the phenomenon doesn't spread to the neighbors...ew.)


the city that never sleeps.

nah. the city sleeps plenty. It's the ME that never sleeps. Was up at the butt-crack of dawn, before the sun and the pigeons and the Swedes in the next room. And faded like newspaper in the sun at about 2:30...but there was some good singing to wake me up, as well as a visit from an alum and an unfortunate case of VPL on an otherwise nifty red dress. That's entertainment!

to dinner, to the bookstore perhaps, and then to Lethe...hopefully!

learning curve

Sitting in on 6 hours of auditions daily. It's amazing. Most of the people we hear are good - very good. But there is this small group that either totally knocks our socks off - in a good way - or makes us think. Heard some really great singing yesterday, and have high hopes for today!

But, because man cannot live on opera alone, I met a good friend for some supper and catching-up chat. He's a doll - sang for our wedding, so I will always have a soft spot for him - and somehow seems a little sad...Hopefully a trip home to the Land of Marys over Thanksgiving will have him feeling better.

Walking to a new building...must walk, as I am eating 2 times my weight in REALLY GOOD FOOD. I don't think that a bad restaurant would last very long in New York, as there are so many really good ones. The space is supposed to be very nice - I'm looking forward to it.

[I sound a little like Pollyanna. But the only way I would have more fun would be if hubby was here. Truly.]

More later.


Nicotine is a DRUG! WHO KNEW?!?

Things are good! Saw Papa in Annapolis this week - he was in town for a conference, and it's an easy (well, relatively easy for the DC area) drive out. We talked, walked around town, and smoked cigars at the dock.

Did I mention that I totally don't smoke? That my college buddies (and you know who you are) used to mock me mercilessly for looking so amazingly awkward when I tried. But it was a girlie vanilla cigar, and it tasted great walking around City Dock. We ate a wonderful meal at Treaty of Paris, where the waiter generously gave me my weight in brioche popovers to take home.(Run there now. They are worth their weight in GOLD.) A fab evening!

And then, the next morning came. And I felt like I had been doing shots and dancing on the bar, like I had partied like it was 1999, like I needed to sleep it off. I swear that someone had knitted individual, rancid socks for each tooth in my head. FROM A CIGAR.

No one ever told me that you could get a nicotine hangover. Well, even if they did, I probably wouldn't have believed them. But it's official - I'm old.

In other, non-substance-abusing news, I heard a great concert last night by two guys who are not only world-class players, but also super nice, sit around and bs with over a beer nice. This one grew up in this area, and this one was born in da 'Burgh, so you know they're stand-up. If they're ever playing a duo recital in your town, you should go. And bring french fries or cookies - it'll make them happy.

And finally, I am packing for a business trip. The first one I've ever taken that doesn't include 100+ horny high school kids. I'm excited, although with all the gear we're taking I'm feeling a little more like a pack mule than a business anything. Thinking of ditching the laptop in favor of leather boots...

more to come from the road - stay tuned!